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Ballmer delivers typically ballsy final Microsoft address

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has delivered his final company gig with the outgoing chief going out in typically boisterous style with swipes at a number of Microsoft’s rivals.

Reuters (opens in new tab) report that Ballmer stomped his way onto the Seattle, Washington stage to the pumping tones of “Can’t Hold Us” by home-town duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, with several people present stating that he “kept up his usual tempo”.

Ballmer, who was almost moved to tears on more than one occasion, used his final address to talk up his vision for Microsoft (opens in new tab) to become a devices and services company, which he said would make it “fundamentally more powerful”.

"We have unbelievable potential in front of us, we have an unbelievable destiny," said Ballmer, reusing a quote from a 1983 meeting. "Only our company and a handful of others are poised to write the future. We're going to think big, we're going to bet big."

Ballmer announced in August (opens in new tab) that he’d be stepping down at some point in the next 12 months and the company is still yet to announce who will be taking Ballmer’s place.

Microsoft busses in some 220 busloads of employees from the company headquarters 15 miles away for the annual event that sees 13,000 full time employees converge on Seattle’s KeyArena. Another 25,000 also tuned in via a webcast.

Talking about other firms in the technology space, Ballmer said that Apple is about being “fashionable”, is about being “cheap”, Google about “knowing more", with Microsoft about “doing more”.

"I believe in you, I believe in the mission. We've been a great company for years. We will be a great company for many more years,” said Ballmer, in his last words to the 13,000 strong audience, before he was played out to Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” and lastly “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing.

Jamie Hinks

Jamie is a freelance writer with over eight years experience writing for online audiences about technology and other topics. In his time writing for ITProPortal he wrote daily news stories covering the IT industry and the worldwide technology market, as well as features that covered every part of the IT market, from the latest start ups to multinational companies and everything encompassed by the IT sector. He has also written tech content for our sister publication, TechRadar Pro. Jamie has since moved into sports betting content and is Content Manager at Betbull.